Professor Andrew Newberg, of the University of Pennsylvania, measures prayer. He invites Buddhists and Franciscan nuns to meditate and pray in a secluded room. At the peak of their devotions, he injects a tracer that travels to their brains and reveals brain activity at the moment of transcendence.
He has found that there is a small region near the back of the brain that constantly calculates a person?s sense of where the body ends and the world begins. During intense prayer or meditation, for unknown reasons, this region becomes a quiet oasis of inactivity as the person becomes ?one? with the universe.